Navigating Abbreviations

We live in a world of abbreviations…LOL, TTYL, u, #, : ), DIY, and the list goes on!  It’s everywhere and if you’re a 14 year old girl – you know it all. If you’re 40-something, then you have to do your homework to keep up. How about physiotherapists? What are all those letters after their names? Why do some have different letters? The following is a quick synopsis of what abbreviations you may see and what they mean for you, the client.

B.Sc.PT or MPT – In Canada, you must graduate from a university program to be able to practice Physical Therapy. This was originally a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, but has more recently, changed to a Master’s of Physical Therapy. The program now entails obtaining a 4 year degree prior to entering the program which is 2 more years. Yup – that’s a total of 6.

CAFCI – Basically, acupuncture. Because Physical Therapists are regulated by a licensing body, there are a few rules that must be followed. One of the few approved courses is through Acupuncture Canada who specifically instruct health care workers in Acupuncture. It involves theory, hands-on workshops (poking each other for practice), and of course, exams – written and practical. This will give you the credential to start acupuncture in your practice and put CAFCI after your name – Certified by Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute.

FCAMPT- Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy. This is specialized training in manual (hands-on) therapeutic treatment techniques including joint manipulation. This advanced orthopeadic training is taken following your university degree. To meet the international criteria (IFOMPT), it includes 7 courses, 150 mentorship hours, written exams and 2 oral  practical exams. In general, this takes 5-6 years to complete, but I think it is so worth it (however, I may be biased!) “CAMPT-Certified physiotherapists offer clinical expertise from advanced training to help clients get better, recover faster, and stay healthier.”

The CAMPT logo is now being used to help clients identify FCAMPT therapists:

CGIMS- Certified Gunn IMS practitioner. This is a dry needling course offered through the University of BC. It involves online theory, attending 2 courses at UBC, a case study, and several exams. This allows the therapist to use acupuncture needles to target tight muscles in order to cause relaxation, desensitize the muscles and nerves, and stimulate healing. It is often effective for chronic pain syndromes.

So, now we’ve done some of the homework for you! The therapists at STRIDE feel that education is important to developing more specialized skills. We are constantly striving to provide the best treatment possible and that may mean having lots of tools in the toolbox – different clients require different treatment! Now, when you visit the STRIDE website, you will feel like you are a teenager – able to spout out those abbreviations and know what they mean, too!